Southend: Man Guilty Of Manslaughter

A man has been found guilty of manslaughter after a man died after a burglary in Southend.

45 year old, Christopher Ryan, was found with serious head injuries inside his flat, in Coleman Street on November 17, 2011 and died a few days later in hospital. 

Following a three week trial at Southwark Crown Court, John Nafzger, 40, and of Westbury Road in the town was found guilty of one count of manslaughter and one count of robbery while Christopher Walker, who's 24 and of Mansted Gardens in Rochford was found guilty of one count of robbery.

Senior Investigating Officer, DI Martin Pasmore, from the Kent & Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: 'John Nafzger and Christopher Walker planned to rob Christopher Ryan of his cannabis plants and knew that, in order to do so, they would have to overpower him at the point he entered his flat. 

'Last November, they saw him enter his block of flats and, while Christopher used the lift, they used the stairs to get ahead of him. 

'They waited out of sight for him to open the front door of his flat before overpowering him. 

'John Nafzger assaulted Christopher at the entrance door of the flat as well as in the living room before stealing his cannabis and mobile phone. 

'The two men then fled the scene, leaving Christopher with severe head injuries from which he later died. 

'It is no secret that Christopher had problems with drug addiction and this is something he was ashamed of. 

'This led to him being estranged from his family as he did not want to bring his problems to their door. 

'Christopher family always hoped that one day he would deal with his addiction and feel able to be part of the family again. 

'Sadly that chance has been taken away from them and I only hope that the findings of the jury began the process of closure for them.'

Both men have been further remanded in court custody prior to their sentencing back at the same court on Monday, September 10.

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